Daily Prayer for 27 April (Easter 3: Thursday)


O Lord, open our lips
and our mouth shall proclaim your praise.

In your resurrection, O Christ,
let heaven and earth rejoice. Alleluia.

Blessed are you, Lord God of our salvation,
to you be praise and glory for ever.
As once you ransomed your people from Egypt
and led them to freedom in the promised land,
so now you have delivered us from the dominion of darkness
and brought us into the kingdom of your risen Son.
May we, the first fruits of your new creation,
rejoice in this new day you have made,
and praise you for your mighty acts.
Blessed be God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Blessed be God for ever.

John 6.44-51

Jesus said to the crowd, ‘No one can come to me unless drawn by the Father who sent me; and I will raise that person up on the last day. It is written in the prophets, “And they shall all be taught by God.” Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to me. Not that anyone has seen the Father except the one who is from God; he has seen the Father. Very truly, I tell you, whoever believes has eternal life. I am the bread of life. Your ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. This is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats of this bread will live for ever; and the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.’ 


Jesus said to the crowd: ‘Your ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. This is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die.’

We live in a throw-away culture. We do not like having to wait for anything, we are constantly seeking instant gratification. We place inordinate value on fast food, and much else that both damages and diminishes because it is always readily available. As with a nourishing and flavoursome meal, that which enhances and enriches demands time and patience. It demands time because every ingredient has to be coaxed into offering up its full potential. It demands patience because the skill of the chef and the full flavour of each ingredient only reaches its peak after a long period of maturation.

In today’s reading Jesus speaks of the manna the Israelites ate in the wilderness. As they journeyed towards the Promised Land they became hungry. In response to their complaints, God provided divine food … manna from heaven. That manna appeared each morning in such abundance that everyone of those refugees had their fill. But, the manna was provided out of God’s love. There was no effort or skill demanded of those being fed. They simply had to rise each morning, step out of their tents and gather the food that was awaiting them. And, as the Israelites shared in the divinely provided feast, the human cycle of life and death continued.

Today Jesus speaks of another way. Jesus describes himself as the Bread of Life. Jesus tells his followers that the bread he represents will sustain for eternity. This sounds wonderful, but we need to take care that we are not falling into the same mindset as the wandering Israelites many centuries earlier. Throughout the gospel narrative Jesus makes it clear that the Bread which gives eternal life is only available to those who follow the path of true discipleship. Furthermore, it is clear that there is nothing ‘fast’ or ‘throwaway’ about the life of the true disciple, and nor is there any sort of superficial instantaneous gratification.

Let us pray that we might resist the temptation to settle for that which is quick and easy in matters of faith. Let us pray that we might take heed of Christ’s teaching and example, and that we might thus become worthy recipients of the Bread of Life, the bread that will lead us into, and then sustain us in an eternal relationship with our risen Lord and God.


To Christ, the Lamb who was slain,
and who now lives in the glory of the Father,
let us lift our voices in praise, saying:
risen Lord, we bless you, alleluia.

Lord Jesus, you are the Amen, the faithful witness,
the firstborn of the dead:
Risen Lord, we bless you, alleluia.

You are Alpha and Omega,
the one who is, and was, and who is to come:
Risen Lord, we bless you, alleluia.

You search into the thoughts and affections of all people:
Risen Lord, we bless you, alleluia.

You reprove and chasten those whom you love:
Risen Lord, we bless you, alleluia.

You open the eyes of the blind
and set the prisoners free:
Risen Lord, we bless you, alleluia.

In your paschal victory,
you have proclaimed the coming of the kingdom:
Risen Lord, we bless you, alleluia.

God of glory,
by the raising of your Son
you have broken the chains of death and hell:
fill your Church with faith and hope;
for a new day has dawned
and the way to life stands open
in our Saviour Jesus Christ.

Rejoicing in God’s new creation,
let us pray with confidence as our Saviour has taught us

Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come;
thy will be done;
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
the power and the glory,
for ever and ever.

The God of peace,
who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus,
that great shepherd of the sheep,
through the blood of the eternal covenant,
make us perfect in every good work to do his will,
working in us that which is well-pleasing in his sight;
and the blessing of God almighty,
the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,
be among us and remain with us always.